South Korea

Teach in South Korea Basics

Placements for candidates who already have teaching credentials
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Information for term Teach in South Korea Basics

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

June 1, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Program Fee: $1,350
  • Compensation: 2,100,000-2,400,000 won (approx. $1,850-2,100)/month plus housing

Application Deadline

July 1, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Program Fee: $1,350
  • Compensation: 2,100,000-2,400,000 won (approx. $1,850-2,100)/month plus housing


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Connect to CIEE’s excellent support, preparation, and private-school placement opportunities, just without the included TEFL course. Explore Korea while gaining experience and saving up funds for even more adventures!

Interested in public school placements through the EPIK program? CIEE’s TEFL team offers free expert guidance to help CIEE TEFL students successfully navigate EPIK’s competitive application process. Learn more

Program Highlights

  • High salaries let entry-level teachers save money or travel
  • Rent-free studio apartment
  • Schools provide reimbursement for one-way airfare
  • No teaching experience necessary

No teaching credentials? Check out Teach in South Korea, which adds an online TEFL certification course to your program.

Have questions? Find answers on our Teach in Korea FAQ page.

Term Start Date Duration Deadline
Fall 2 Semesters 2022 August/September 12 months (plus 2-week quarantine) June 1*
Spring 2 Semesters 2023 February 12 months (plus 2-week quarantine) July 1

*Please note: The Fall 2022 hiring season (late March to early August) is already underway. Candidates who apply in May still have a decent chance of getting a job, but the sooner you can apply and get started, the better!

About Our Program Fees

CIEE, a non-profit organization, relies on program fees to provide South Korea Basics participants with placement assistance, international insurance, orientation, and support before and after arrival. The program fee of $1,350 is paid in two installments:

  • $500 commitment deposit due after acceptance
  • Remaining balance due when you receive your placement

CIEE alumni receive a 10% discount!

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

What's Included

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What's Included

  • Job placement
  • Pre-departure assistance – including visa assistance
  • One year of iNext international insurance with 24-hour emergency assistance services
  • Support and advice from CIEE representatives in Korea
  • Mid-year networking weekend in Seoul
  • Contract completion bonus equal to one month's salary

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The Destination

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Participants are placed in cities and suburban areas throughout South Korea. Teaching assignments are available in the Seoul metropolitan area, but they are often more competitive and are not always available to inexperienced teachers.

Many teachers are placed in the following cities:

  • Busan, the country’s second-largest city, draws many international conventions and foreign visitors.
  • Ulsan, on the south-eastern coast, is an industrial powerhouse with the energy of a robust economy.
  • Daegu enjoys a subtropical climate ideal for producing high-quality apples, thus its nickname, "Apple City.” It is also a notable center for Korean fashion.
  • Daejeon, in the center of the country, has 18 universities and is a center of advanced technology.
  • Gwangju is another large, culturally rich city in the south of the country.
  • The greater Seoul area is one of the largest metropolitan disctricts in the world and includes the nearby cities of Bucheon, Incheon, Suwon City, Gunpo, and Namyangju.
  • Each year, we have other interesting locations not included on this list!

CIEE wants all our participants to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while teaching abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that teachers with specific identities might encounter in Seoul, and these are generally applicable to other parts of the country where Teach Abroad participants are placed.

The Take-Aways

  • Compensation

    Rent-free housing with basic amenities, competitive salary, airfare, South Korean-national medical insurance benefits.

  • Preparation

    Detailed pre-departure guides on topics like phones, cultural differences and advice from former teachers, plus an orientation and networking weekend in Seoul.

  • Assistance

    Pre-departure guidance, international medical insurance and 24-hour worldwide assistance with CIEE iNext, in-country support from resident staff members.

Job Description

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Job Description

In South Korea, you’ll be teaching English in a society where academics are highly valued. Positions are available with KG and elementary students, so if you’re excited to be a language and cultural ambassador for South Korea’s youngest learners, you’re on the right track!

Most Korean students attend public school during the day, then private academies called hagwons in the afternoon or evening, to help them meet high expectations for educational achievement. Click here to see a comparison of those types of teaching jobs – each has its pros and cons.

If you want to apply for public school jobs, CIEE’s TEFL program offers the certification you’ll need. They can also provide guidance on how to make a strong application with EPIK, the Korean public school program for foreign teachers. EPIK is competitive, and offers little to no control over location, but has longer vacations and Korean co-teachers. Learn more

On the other hand, CIEE’s Teach in Korea program places English teachers at private schools (hagwons). With this school type, you have much more influence over location, and you will likely have other expat teachers at your school. It’s the best approach for friends and couples seeking placement together, too. If you’re aiming for hagwons, you’re on the right page – keep reading!

Not sure which one is right for you? Review our comparison handout and then schedule a phone call!

Compensation & Benefits

Regardless of the type of school, teaching in Korea offers an outstanding package when it comes to salary and benefits.

You will earn 2,100,000-2,400,000 won (approx. $1,750-2,000)/month and receive rent-free housing from your school. You’ll have a small deduction each month for Korean taxes, but you’ll be enrolled in Korea’s National Health Insurance which delivers excellent care at very low prices. There’s also a contract completion bonus equal to one month’s salary at the end of your program.

These high wages will let you save large amounts of money each month instead of spending it on rent and transportation!

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    Private schools tend to be concentrated in cities and urban areas, where there are lots of customers! It’s fairly rare for a first-time teacher to get a job in central Seoul, but there are lots of job opportunities in nearby areas like Incheon, Gyeonggido, and Suwon, as well as other cities and urban districts throughout Korea. We’ll do our best to follow your preferences when arranging interviews!

  • south korea, teacher and students, silly


    Participants at private schools are solo lead teachers with full responsibility for their classes. Class sizes are small (5-12 students), but the overall workload is fairly heavy: 30 classroom teaching hours each week, not counting lesson prep, meetings or other obligations like lunch supervision. A typical contract offers paid time off on a fixed annual schedule: 9-10 school vacation days, plus 10-15 national holidays.

What People are Saying

  • CIEE makes it incredibly easy to navigate the various steps in the application process. Additionally the constant access to the placement team is extremely helpful.

    Kerry H. | Teach in South Korea
  • It's a great program that makes for a "no fuss" adventure. The tutor and the coordinators are so helpful. I love this company.

    Manuel Y. | Teach in South Korea
  • Very helpful in finding what school would best fit my needs and very reachable.

    Ethan T. | Teach in South Korea
  • CIEE made the application process easy and offered assistance in finding a placement in Korea. As well, the inservice help has been prompt and helped to connect me with other teachers in Korea.

    Glenn F. | Teach in South Korea
  • The assistance from CIEE was vital to my success! I had no problems from CIEE and I would recommend the program to any friend interested in teaching abroad.

    Jessica R. | Teach in South Korea


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You don’t need to speak Korean to apply! You'll need a bachelor’s degree in any field, along with a few other qualifications. These, plus a sense of adventure and a real desire to cross cultural boundaries and engage with people eager to learn English, make you a great candidate.


  • Native English speaker
  • A bachelor’s degree in any field, from a university in one of the countries listed below
  • Citizenship in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, or the United Kingdom
  • A commitment to 12 months of employment
  • At least one of the following teaching credentials: TEFL/TESOL/CELTA or Education Degree. Don’t have credentials? Our original Teach in Korea program will help you get TEFL certified!
  • On paper, applicants must be 61 or younger to receive a work visa. In practice, we’ve found that private schools won’t consider candidates who are 50 or older.

To make your application stronger, highlight additional qualifications, such as:

  • Experience studying, working, or volunteering abroad
  • A degree in English or education
  • Experience instructing children

TEFL Certification

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TEFL Certification

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification gives you the skills, experience, and confidence to make teaching abroad even more rewarding – both for you and those you teach. The CIEE TEFL 150-hour certification course can easily be added on to your program to ensure that you:

  • Develop an awareness of the field and practices of TEFL
  • Understand the components of English related to teaching nonnative speakers
  • Get personalized feedback from an experienced TEFL tutor
  • Can design lessons for TEFL students at a variety of levels
  • Complete 20 hours of practice teaching experience to hone your skills

Discover the benefit of including a TEFL Course with your teach abroad program.

Learn more

Our Team

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Ready to change your life?

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